September 12, 2019

Infrastructure Design for Vanguard

by: Align

The Challenge
Align’s Data Center Solutions team was engaged to provide facilities infrastructure designs on a large data center transformation project for Vanguard.  The overall transformation project involved a total technology refresh of all equipment and the transition from on premise data centers to two redundant 3rd party provided, purpose-built facilities.


The Solution
The project called for the design of two new 10,000 sq. ft. / 1.2MW facilities.  Each space demanded capacity to house approximately 200 cabinets including core business workloads, customer-facing applications, mainframe requirements, new network, compute and storage delivery systems, along with new security and other network appliance kits. 

Align’s certified design experts teamed directly with the client and gathered critical information for the base infrastructure specifications including cabinet footprint counts, power distribution, cabling requirements and the timelines and budgets to procure, implement and test these solutions. All the relevant data was documented in our design drawings, schedules and one-line diagrams for our client to easily understand, modify and ultimately approve.

The Result
Align was contracted by the global investment manager and assumed the role of overall “IT General Contractor.” We procured all prerequisite materials and hired all subcontractors for the data center’s interior construction. We also provided full-time construction oversight and ensured the project was built to the high design standards our client expected.  

Finally, Align arranged the rack/stack labor and the connectivity experts to accept, install, and prepare all new equipment for handoff to our client’s network and system engineers. The in-house teams could seamlessly layer configurations and begin testing the functionality of each device.  We then worked with the in-house IT teams to ensure new equipment was prepared to accept the workload migrations shifted to the new facility.

Align was able to create a meshed schedule where the DC provider, their contractors and the commissioning agent dovetailed their work to strategically finalize the fit out in areas of the data center.  The network area was completed and cleaned first, to allow the IT team to configure and test all aspects of the WAN and LAN networks.  The compute and storage areas were also commissioned in strategic lots of space and power to accept application deployments in an as needed basis. 

This transformation was scheduled to take 16 months.  Align and our partners completed this work in 10 months, saving the customer over 3 million dollars in rent and drastically reducing the risk of infrastructure failure.


“Align is our trusted provider for all our Managed Services and cybersecurity needs. They provide us best-in-class IT services that not only help drive productivity and growth, but ensure we meet both current and evolving compliance and security requirements with ease. As consultants to financial advisors, trust and reliability are indispensable to our operations, which is why we never hesitate to refer Align to our very own client base. Align isn’t just our partner, they are an extension of our team. We look forward to entrusting them with our IT infrastructure for years to come.”

Ed Fasano - Experienced Advisory Consultants LLC